ISRO, MapmyIndia join hands to work on Google Maps/Earth

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Indian Space Research Organisation and site and navigation technology solutions provider MapmyIndia announced an initiative to partner together to supply India’s best, and fully indigenous, mapping portal and geospatial services.

It combines the facility of MapmyIndia’s digital maps and technologies with ISRO’s catalogue of satellite imagery and earth observation data, consistent with MapmyIndia’s CEO and Executive Director, Rohan Verma.

He termed it a path-breaking milestone in India’s journey towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, wherein Indian users wouldn’t be hooked into foreign organisations for maps, navigation and geospatial services, and leverage made-in-India solutions instead.

“You don’t need Goo*le Maps/Earth any longer”, Mr Verma said within the headline in a piece of writing on LinkedIn.

According to ISRO, the Department of Space (DoS) — ISRO comes thereunder — has joined hands with MapmyIndia to mix their geospatial expertise and build holistic solutions by leveraging their geoportals.

DoS entered into an MoU with geospatial technology company CE Info Systems Pvt Ltd, which owns MapmyIndia, on Thursday.
Under the partnership, the combined geospatial expertise of the DoS and CE Info Systems would be leveraged through their respective Geoportals, consistent with Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO.
The collaboration will enable them to jointly identify and build holistic geospatial solutions utilising the world observation datasets, ‘NavIC’, Web Services and APIs (application programming interface) available in MapmyIndia, ‘Bhuvan’, ‘VEDAS’ and ‘MOSDAC’ geoportals, the space agency said during a statement.
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) called NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation, is India’s own navigation system, developed by ISRO.
Bhuvan is that the national geo-portal developed and hosted by ISRO comprising geospatial data, services and tools for analysis.
VEDAS (Visualisation of Earth observation Data and Archival System) is a web geoprocessing platform using an optical, microwave, thermal and hyperspectral EO data covering applications particularly meant for academia, research and problem solving, consistent with ISRO.
MOSDAC (Meteorological and Oceanographic Satellite Data Archival Centre)is a knowledge repository for all the meteorological missions of ISRO and deals with weather-related information, oceanography and tropical water cycles.
Mr Verma said there are many reasons why Indians are happier with an indigenous solution for maps and geospatial services.
“MapmyIndia, being a responsible, local, Indian company, ensures that its maps reflect truth sovereignty of the country, depicting India’ s borders as per Government of India, and hosts its maps in India,” he said.
Through the combined partnership with ISRO, MapmyIndias user maps, apps and services will now integrate with ISROs huge catalogue of satellite imagery and earth observation data, a MapmyIndia statement said.
It would be a way better, more detailed and comprehensive, also as privacy-centric, hyper-local and indigenous mapping solution for Indians, compared to foreign map apps and solutions, it said.
Mr Verma said foreign mapping solutions accompany tons of hidden costs.
For example, foreign search engines and corporations claim to supply “free” maps, but actually, they create money by targeting equivalent users with advertising-supported invading user privacy and auctioning those users private location and movement data,” he claimed.
“This should be very alarming to all or any citizens”.
“On the opposite hand, MapmyIndia has an ethical point of view against advertising led business models of such companies, and hence, don’t have an advertising business model. By using MapmyIndia maps and applications rather than the foreign map apps, users can better protect their privacy,” he said.
The “sustainable and direct, clean business model” ensures that MapmyIndias maps and apps are often kept freed from cost also as freed from ads for users, consistent with him.
“MapmyIndias maps cover all 7.5 lakh villages, 7500+ cities at street and building-level, connected by all 63 lakh kilometres of road network pan India and within cities, in total providing maps for an unparalleled 3+ crore places across India,” the corporate statement said.